I love the fall, it’s one of my favorite times of year. I know fall has arrived by the cool crisp mornings, cozy sweaters, college football, pumpkin spice lattes and the beautiful fall colors. Seasonal changes are dynamic, exciting times. Your body feels it and it’s important to adjust your diet and lifestyle to reflect the energy of the new season.
According to Ayurveda, during the fall, Vata dosha predominates, and there is an increase in the dry, rough, light and cold qualities both in nature and in our bodies. Vata, is the energy of movement and is made of the elements Space and Air. Vata dosha is naturally increased by the increase of cold, dry, windy weather of fall. Most of us experience dry skin, chapped lips, static in our hair, cold hands and feet, scattered thoughts and feeling ungrounded in this season due to excess Vata. An internal drying can also be occurring especially in the large intestine, one of Vata’s homes in the body, leading to gas, bloating and constipation.
Signs of Vata Imbalance Are:
- Dry skin, lips and hair
- Constipation Gas/Bloating
- Low or variable appetite
- Light headedness/ringing in the ears
- Scattered mind
- Chronically cold hands and feet
Ayurveda’s mantra is: ‘like increases like’ and in Ayurveda balance is achieved and maintained by increasing opposite qualities. So to reduce Vata qualities we focus on food and lifestyle choices that are moist, warm, dense and grounding.
- Eat with the season – root veggies, apples, pears, squash, cabbage, collard greens, good “fats”, whole grains, soups and stews.
- Eat three meals around the same time, make lunch your biggest meal and start your day with a warm and grounding breakfast like oatmeal with bakes apples and cinnamon.
- Eat in a calm environment (no driving or distractions).
- Favor warm, moist, dense foods over raw, light, dry, crunchy foods.
- Hydration is key during this drying season. Sip warm water and herbal tea throughout the day.
- Enjoy the sweet taste naturally present in dates, grains, milk and sweet fruits.
- Use warming spices and ghee.
As always look to nature when choosing appropriate foods for the season. Eat foods that are in season—trust your inner wisdom to guide you.
- Routine is really important, especially during Vata season. Develop a daily routine that start by grounding you in the morning.
- Dial in your sleep, Rise by 6:00 AM and be in bed by 10 PM.
- Make friends with oil by giving yourself an oil massages daily. This practice is known as Abhyanga and is deeply nourishing. Sesame oil is the best choice. Avoid coconut oil during the fall and winter since it is cooling.
- Use grounding yoga practices and breathing techniques. See Banyan Botanicals site for great tips on adjusting your yoga practice for the fall.
- Do a seasonal Ayurvedic cleanse. For more on cleansing check out these links. Fall Cleansing Tips, Cleanse with me!
- Reduce social media, TV and internet, especially in the evening.
- Spend some time in nature connecting with the Earth, daily.
As we move into fall, this is the ideal time to embrace a sustainable way of healthy living. By paying attention to your body as it transitions from season to season you have the power to set yourself up for a truly vibrant way of living. These practices are simple and totally doable. Commit to at least three of these tips and report back the changes you experience.
Wishing you Vibrant Living